Since the doors opened in 1946, Tony DeMaria's Bar-B-Que has been family owned and operated. The restaurant was originally opened as a grocery store and meat market by Tony DeMaria Jr. and in the 50’s Tony served barbecue to road crews who were in the process of building Interstate Highway 35 through Waco. In 1954, Tony married Lillie Cassiola, who often helped out with the business. Tony and Lillie had four children; Gary, Greg, Gina, and Geoff – who would all grow up to help out at the store at one time or another. In 1985, Tony retired and sold the business to Geoff, who still runs the restaurant today. … In 1995, Geoff built a new building on the corner of Elm and Rose streets at 1000 Elm St. and moved the business just down the street from the original location The business now operates solely as a barbecue restaurant using the same recipe that’s been served since the 50’s. Today, Geoff’s wife Elizabeth, son Blake, and nephew Anthony help operate the restaurant which is open for business Monday – Friday from 9am to 2pm and on Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Don’t let the hours fool you, barbecue is cooked fresh daily and served until there’s nothing left and is typically sold out well before closing time. Call-in orders are welcomed.
Tony DeMaria's is the best barbecue in Waco. Period. Hands down. It's not even a contest. I suppose it's good to have somewhere that's okay for traditional 'Q. Then again, I like variety, and a little competition would be good. Sorry, Gut Pak, I love you, but you're not in this race--we're letting the meat speak for itself here. I don't think J. Mueller's brisket would be as divine if Franklin wasn't breathing down his neck, nor do I think it's a coincidence that Stanley's and Country Tavern are a short drive from each other and both rule at ribs. Competition is good, especially in the market of MEAT. Waco simply lacks it, and I feel like Tony D's may suffer a bit because of that.
I'll admit--I've been spoiled with the Stanley's and J. Mueller's of the universe. It's hard for me to rate the only decent BBQ in Waco against places that have a religious devotion to the meat. This gets a solid 4 if we're rating statewide, but for Waco alone, it's a solid 6.4903890l. (Vitek's only keeps its 5 from me because of the addictive qualities of the Gut Pak.) Consider my rating more of a 4.5, then. I like to see and taste a thick ring of smoke on the outer edge of my 'Q, and Tony D's is sometimes hit-or-miss with that. The sweet, vinegary sauce is like liquid candy, though--too sweet for some, but I love it.
They run out of meat in the early afternoon for a reason, but let's be honest--where else are you going to get it in Waco?
I've traveled around Texas and the U.S. and being from Texas I'm partial to BBQ. DiMarias is the best I've ever eaten! It beats anything I've had in Memphis, Kansas City or anywhere else... The main thing about DiMaria's is consistancy, it is good EVERYTIME! I suggest the Dagwood - Mixed (Sausage and Beef) with Extra Bread. You will have enough for two sausage wraps and two brisket wraps. It is simply de-lici-ous! You cannot beat their prices and quality ANYWHERE! Uncle Dan's and Viteks doesn't even compare when it comes to these guys... I'll see you there!
I'm a firm believer in the potential of Waco to show me a good time. I'm always on the hunt for a new little restaurant that serves delicious food. Tony Demaria's was just the kind of bbq joint that I needed during final exams. Don't let the exterior or the location fool you, this place has some of the best brisket and ribs in Texas. I recruited a friend of mine to head over around 10:00am (yes, in the morning). Tony's closes at 2:00PM on weekdays or whenever the food runs out. I was told to get there early and now I understand why.
We each ordered a barbecue plate. It comes with a choice of sides. I went with brisket with barbecue sauce and gravy, with a side of beans and potato salad. The brisket was melt in your mouth tender, they didn't even give me a knife--I sure didn't need one. The beans were pretty standard...bacon, sauce, beans. I wasn't too impressed. I tried the coleslaw. I'm pretty picky when it comes to coleslaw, but this cabbage slaw was the prefect cool and creamy side dish for their spicy barbecue sauce. I have a confession, I have a huge sweet tooth. I had to get a slice of the coconut cake. It was two layers of delish white cake layered with decadent white buttercream frosting sprinkled with fresh coconut. They also had a massive drink selection which really impressed my friend. He couldn't resist getting a can of Hawaiian Punch...a cook-out staple when we were growing up.
Overall, the food was great. The people at Tony's were helpful and friendly. I'll definitely be back. Don't let the location or the laid-back interior fool you...those are telltale signs of a wicked-good bbq joint. Enjoy!
Texas is well-known for their barbeque, and Waco specifically has a few good choices for a quality meal. If you like ribs, Tony DeMaria’s (Tony D’s) will definitely satisfy your taste buds. I happened to walk into this amazing restaurant on a Wednesday, which was their all you can eat rib day. Although I took my lunch to-go, I am happy to still able to soak up the full authentic barbecue experience. I was given three large ribs with my meal, and I did not know that pork ribs could be so savory and meaty! The meat on the ribs were twice the length of the rib bones themselves. Thankfully, these were all meat in its purest, simplest form. The ribs were so substantial that just one could feed a small human, of course that didn’t stop me from eating all three. Not only did the amount of meat on the ribs catch my attention, but they also had great texture. The meat was so tender and moist it could be cut with the little plastic knife they give you with your meal. These plump oversized ribs had a great flavor, and they were so tender that the first bite alone started to make my mouth water. The ribs were so delicious because the flavor was a combination of pork, smokiness, barbecue, and spices, respectfully in that order. The restaurant’s simple barbecue sauce still allowed the flavor of the meat to shine through. Trust me, something this good did not have to be disguised with a lot of sauces and rubs. The ribs were so moist it was like they were sweating at the idea of being eaten. Of course, for their sake, I quickly put them out of their misery. You will definitely want to try Tony D’s; I promise you will not be disappointed. Remember that Wednesday is their all you can eat ribs, and do not forget to bring your appetite. This is definitely a five paper towel barbecue hot spot. Just remember, come early because seating is limited and once the barbecue is gone, it’s gone.